Indians 7, Nationals 2: Kearns Belts Two Homers; Tribe Wins Third Straight

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Austin Kearns drove in four runs via two homers and Jake Westbrook pitched into the eighth, as the Indians dropped the Nationals, 7-2, in the opener of a three-game interleague series.

In 7 1/3 innings, Westbrook (4-3) allowed just two runs on seven hits and two walks while fanning five to lead Cleveland to its third straight win.

Travis Hafner went 2-for-3 with a double and solo home run for the Indians, whose manager, Manny Acta, was fired by the Nationals in midseason last year.

Adam Dunn and Ivan Rodriguez each had two hits and an RBI, while Luis Atilano (5-3) was credited with the loss for allowing six runs -- three earned -- on seven hits and two walks in five-plus innings for Washington, which was coming off a three-game sweep of the Pirates.

Washington jumped in front in the first when Dunn followed Rodriguez's one-out double with a two-bagger of his own.

Atilano appeared to get out of the bottom half with just one hit allowed, but Adam Kennedy booted Russell Branyan's routine ground ball to keep the inning going. Kearns then worked a full count and hammered a hanging curveball over the left-field wall for his sixth round-tripper of the season.

Kearns added another homer to roughly the same spot leading off the fourth, and Hafner hit a solo shot to start a three-run inning sixth.

Jhonny Peralta's single ended Atilano's night, and two batters after a Luis Valbuena base hit, Trevor Crowe singled off Tyler Walker to score both runners for a healthy 7-1 Cleveland lead.

Kennedy scored in the eighth after Rodriguez reached base on Valbuena's error. Tony Sipp relieved Westbrook and walked Dunn to load the bases, but Chris Perez came in and got the dangerous Ryan Zimmerman to bounce into an inning- ending 6-4-3 double to minimize the damage.

Perez stayed in and hurled a scoreless ninth to record his sixth save of the season.

The Nationals were making their first ever visit to Progressive Field. It was the first time a team from Washington visited Cleveland since the Senators split a doubleheader with the Tribe back on September 14, 1971 at old Cleveland Stadium...Cleveland's top catching prospect Carlos Santana made his major league debut and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. Santana was called up from Triple-A Columbus, which welcomed back catcher Lou Marson via a club option...The Nationals took two of three from the Indians the last time these teams met back in 2007...It was Kearns' fourth career multi-homer game.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.